New Panama President Following Through on Pledge to Cut Illegal Migration to U.S.

Panama President

The Panamanian government is touting progress on efforts to reduce illegal migration through the Darien Gap, a dense jungle region that has long served as a gateway point for South American migrants making their way to the United States.

The National Border Service, Panama’s version of the U.S. Border Patrol, reported that 11,363 migrants had crossed into the country from Colombia since July 1, when President Jose Raul Mulino first entered office, according to The Associated Press. That number marks roughly 9,000 fewer crossings compared to the same time period last year.

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Panama Closes Three Darien Crossings on the Border with Colombia

Darien River, Panama

Panama has closed at least three of the crossing points used by migrants to cross the Darien River, which marks the border with Colombia, with a “perimeter barrier” in order to “channel” the flow of migrants and exercise greater control over this irregular route used by hundreds of people every day on their way to North America, Panamanian authorities reported on Wednesday.

Panama’s National Border Service (Senafront) said in a statement to which EFE had access that “measures were taken to control the massive irregular migration that the Panamanian State faces” in order to “channel irregular migration” to Bajo Chiquito, the first town that migrants reach after crossing the Darien jungle on foot for days.

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